You know when I had an inkling the Mets might be all right? When I saw a matter-of-fact reference in a wire-service story somewhere the other day to the “fading” New York Mets. It brought me back to the third week of the 1986 season when I saw the exact same descriptor used for a team that had started 2-3 and wasn't yet on a tear.
Fading? The Mets at their lowest point lately had lost three in a row, four out of five. They had sunk a half-game out of first place, plummeting all the way into the Wild Card lead. It wasn't a positive trend, but it didn't remove them from the picture.
All of us together panicking about precedent and doom? That's fine. We're fans. Objective accounts adjusting the exposure on the Mets' image so we can't see they were still perfectly viable with a dozen games remaining? That was the overreaction.
It's three full days later and the Mets are in first place again. The unbeatable Phillies did lose a game. The Mets have won three in a row. Milwaukee…they've got problems. Florida…they've got clock issues (though that shouldn't stop them from enjoying a big ol' last hurrah today and tomorrow before checking out next weekend). Most importantly, the Mets are clutching their fate in their own two hands, steadyish or not. It wasn't the prettiest of wins in Atlanta Friday night, but all we need to know is it was a win, nobody got hurt as far as we could tell, the bullpen was more help than hindrance and Daniel Murphy is alive, well and hitting.
Lots more baseball to go. A fade is just an out-of-date hairstyle.